Sunday, February 27, 2011

Exploration and Texture Sensory Rounds

Exploration and Texture n Sensory Rounds:

I used the regular salt playdough recipe to make these exploration and texture sensory rounds. Before I put some of the salt playdough in the random containers, I added beans, wood shapes, sensory balls to some of the bottoms and some on the tops to add texture to each shape to make them different. Each shape is a different sensory texture for the children to explore. The second picture is when I just made them and the first picture is when they are drying and I added two layers of mod podge to them to prevent beaking and cracking. Great to add a magnifying glass to for sight exploration and great for hands on touching for tactile experiences, homemade.

Fruit Sorting Set

Fruit Sorting Set:

I cut a box in half and attached strawberry baskets inside of 4. One in each corner. Then I added four kinds of foam fruits to sort into the corner baskets. Once finished all the items can go on either side. Box folds up nice. What a great resource to share becoming more familiar with fruits and shapes.

Picture to Word Vocabulary Building Cards

                                                           Picture to Word Vocabulary Building Cards:

I made these cards by attaching the pictures to thick cardboard and attaching package tape across the top and continuing on to the back. They should last for years to come. The child chooses the Tray off of the choice shelves, takes one card out at a time. Names the picture, see's the word that relates to the picture learning that they go together visually and memory building that word association to that picture to know relation in print rich environments with pictures. Repeat until desired cards are done, place back in custom build cardboard placement box and return to shelf. For other children to take advantage of. Repeat for more
picture to word skill building.

Marble Scooping Activity

                                                                  Marble Scooping Activity:

I have a passion to create Montessori Manipulatives. It just comes natural for me to see trays at flea markets, thrift stores, stores and I can come up with a wonderful learning idea. This plastic Tray I purchased for .25 and it worked perfect for Marble to tray scooping work. This little spoon hugged the marble perfect.

Child scoops one marble up at a time and transfers each one to each perfect fitting snug hole on the transfer tray until all holes are filled. Then they finger transfer them back. Place this tray back to choices from shelf for another child to take advantage of and learn from. Building attention spans, concentration, independence, following directions, to name a few.

Magnetic Numbers to Can Matching Set

Magnetic Numbers to Can Matching Set:

I took a piece of construction paper, traced the magnetic numbers on it by random. Outlined the numbers with a magic marker. Laminated the paper. Cut it down to fit the metal coffee can and attached it with tape. The magnets store right inside.

Child takes the teaching can off of the choices on the shelf, places it on a tray where they are sitting to build concentration, independence, following directions and more. They take all the magnets out and place in a holding tray they choose from the tray as well. Turn the can until all the numbers are matched. Repeat for success and repetition. Put all numbers back in the can. Put lid on. Return to shelf for another child to benefit from.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sensory ORB Storage

Our store had a sale on "monkey bread." So I get two packages, take them home, within 3 days, I had made both of them and shared them with the children. The bowls from that treat turned out to be great for holding our sensory orbs for or shelf so the children can hands on explore them when they take them to their chosen place and tray. Nice and heavy dish, I will get two more of these soon and put them to good use in my rock
collection and shells next.

My Sensory FEELY BOX

I have a never ending supply of boxes due to a friend working at a store close to me. So, I am always thinking of ways to include boxes into my teachings. This activity can be for any of the children I care for. Its a homemade SENSORY FEELY BOX. I took a box, covered it with leftover table cloth covering that I glued on with regular school glue. Took another box that was slightly bigger and made a box for the top, that slides over the bottom perfectly. I cut to holes out and covering it in the table cloth to. Inside, I added really fuzzy material for a great sensory tactle experience. It took many hours to dry, infact I didn't do anything with it overnight. Then after adding the fuzzy material by putting glue down first, I can add any sensory materials or shapes I want. This week, I added sensory orbs that I made from material and the red orb is from recycled foam egg cartons cut down, glued on and painted. Then I mod podged over it. It has the BEST texture to it.

To make a free ball, roll newspaper into a ball shape. Wrap in any kind of tape. Then apply glue and layers of materials that you want. Let dry. Your done. Such a fun learning activity. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


                                                          Salt Dough DRAGONFLIES:

We made these dragonflies out of salt playdough we made homemade. Pressed them onto the rounds, baked them and mod podged them twice. We are putting them in our science exploration box #2 for insects I hope to have it done this week, then I will share it. Add kaleidiscopes or a magnifying glass to them adds a lot of curious learning. Great textures and colors.

Sound Box Activity

Sound Box Activity:

 I made this textured box to hold our new "sound box" activities. The children can choose this and shake, rattle and roll the different musical instruments that are in the box. Great for auditory hands on exploration.

Directions: Child chooses this activity from the shelf, either carries it to their independent place to sit down at the table. I will assist them in carrying the activity myself until they are able to do it for themselves if they are toddlers. I am there for them. Child takes one piece out at a time shakes it, rattles it or rolls it and then places it on the table in front of them until all activities of interest are explored. All items are returned to the sound box and returned to the Montessori Shelf for others to enjoy!

I hot glue textured material onto the sturdy cardboard boxes after their cut to our needs, depending on what activities are being offered. A great sensory experience for the child to enjoy!

Share: Ball drop Thrift Store find

                                                   Share: Ball drop Thrift Store find for .25

Ive been wanting a ball drop to encourage learning about cause and effect but they were all close to 50.00 that are well made. Good thing I held out because I found this one at our local thrift store for a quarter. Im going to add a light bad mitten ball and see if it works this week, as a set.

Share: Crocheted Discs on Wood Peg Threading Work

Crocheted Discs on Wood Peg Threading Work:

I found this at a local thrift store for only a quarter. What a find. I wish I knew how to crochet these but I may change them out to cardboard discs that have a opening in the middle that I home make to add variety to this activity at a later date. What a find when I am looking.

Finger Transferring to HOOKs

Finger Transferring to Hooks:

                                                  This is my 201 POST! YEAH! With 45 Followers, I plan to add many more ideas to share with all of you. I made this last month but the children wern't ready for it. Im going to re-introduce it this week. I made it by making holes in the can with a nail and hammer, attaching little screws that I had left over in my sorter drawers. Painted it. I made the friends ornaments at Christmas and these are mini ones I made out of material glued to hard cardboard. I attached yarn on the back, then attached another kind of material. Mod podged over both sides. This little wooden box hold the transferring ornaments that build on friendships. I was told that you can't poke holes in the can, but you can. lol I painted over the whole can and hooks to show the activity as a whole object to cut down on confusion.  So, this is on our shelves for this week. I plan to make a few more sets of these built around themes of their interest. What a simple yet educational activity.

Directions: Child takes the can to their table area, places it on a tray, gets a holding tray from the basket of trays they choose from like the wooden box if they choose, sits down andgets comfortable, independently works to remove all ornaments from the can to the holding tray, then finger transfers each ornament back to a hook, filling all of the hooks up. Building their self esteem, they get a sticker from the sticker bowl and places it by their name on the chart next to this activity, where a picture is posted. A great incentive to build independence within each child.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Color Boxes Added: Orange and Green

Color Boxes Added: Orange and Green:

This week I added to our color boxes of "green and orange." I made them from recycled juice and gatorade bottles. Its easy pick up for small hands with the plastic tab holders and the items don't fall out if their tipped. Now our collection just lacks white and brown. Those will be the last 2 in our collection.The fabric covered side wholes I cut big enough for small hands to get big objects out to explore hands on, build small muscle skills and add new objects they can see and pull out and put back when done exploring.

Wooden Napkin Rings on Wooden Paper Towel Holder

Wooden Napkin Rings on Wooden Paper Towel Holder:

After introducing this activity two weeks ago, the toddlers and preschoolers are choosing it often. I am seeing lots of random color threading with the napkin beads but have seen some patterning in my preschoolers. This was a great idea to introduce. Perfect for small hands.

Multi-Cultural Pictures

Multi-Cultural Pictures:

I copied these off, glued them to thick cardboard and inserted it inside a huge ziplock and attached the picture inside the sensory house so my toddlers could see different toddlers of cultures. We had a little girl from India last year and she blended right in with no questions. We love all of our friends we make.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Smaller Color Progression Box HomeMade

Smaller Color Progression Box HomeMade:

This is my second "Color Progression Box" that I have made homemade. The one I made last week, was way to large in color choices for the younger children that I guide and care for. This one may be to large yet, but I won't know until I put it out in our choices. I decided to scatter the colors and make them bold to start them out with. Then carry on to the larger one with patterns and more "like colors." This one contains approx. 24 pinching clothes pins. I re-inforced the pinching walls with a second layer of thick cardboard and layers of mod podge and it will last a long time to come. When I took these pictures, it was still drying. I hope to include this in our choices this week, room permitted on the shelf or next week when I rotate.

Cold Marble Valentines Day Shapes

Cold Marble Valentines Day Shapes:

I am putting these "Marble Valentines Day Coasters" in the fridge to make them cold, then going to add them to our sensory choices for Valentines Day. The children can stack them and un-stack them into the matching marble holder. A great sensory experience for Valentines Day!

Share: Sensory Containment Containers: Its on the Shelf

Share: Sensory Containment Containers: Its on the Shelf:

I made these SENSORY CONTAINMENT CONTAINERS out of juice lids, milk lids, pop lids, small tuna cans and they are perfect for little hands to hold, examine and wow over. Noticing details, odds and ends, flowers, shapes, textures and a touch of nature, these have turned out to be a great asset to our Montessori shelves. I added recycled levis to the edges from the seams of the jeans for more added tactile experiences. These are shown in our picture below, bottom left hand corner. I made their own storage box out of cardboard and bumpy sensory material. Were upto about 50 rounds now and building.

         Do you like our activities? Feel free to leave us a comment to let us know you were here. Enjoy!

Added Kaleidoscopes to our Xrays Trays

Added Kaleidoscopes to our Xrays Trays:

We made these X-RAY CARDS from older school magazines to recycle the pictures with the children. We cut them out and added them to cardboard, added two layers of mod podge on them and they turned out to be such a neat added health and xray unit. The little bucket I got from the Dollar Store for .25 and we added 3 kaleidoscopes to our tray. When the children look through them it makes many little pictures of one xray, a 3-d effect. So, we took the magnifying glass off and went with their interests. A common choice this week among our toddlers and preschoolers. Sure to be a favorite we keep out a lot.

Share: Tornado/Candle Observation

Share: Tornado/Candle Observation:

The children and I, we did an observation on a candle that we put on a candle warmer. Since, a few years ago, we suffered a TORNADO in our town, I thought it would be good to show the children what one might look like or resemble to this candle. As it warmed up, it made a rope in the bottom like what we seen that day when the tornado hit. Many of the children have had what happened to our town bottled up and this seemed to help them express their memories and work through their feelings related to this experience.
We did this under close supervision and was a lot of fun!

Shake, Soft, Smooth Sensory Tray

Shake, Soft, Smooth Sensory Tray:

I put my new yarn shapes on this new choice tray along with red shake and make bubbles bottles, a new shell that is really slick feeling, paint brush, a soft sorting handmade disc, black feely tray and a handmade sensory containment lid with jewels in it. The children can "hands on" explore each item and then place them back on the tray and back on the tray after they feel each texture.

Sensory Yarn ShApEs ToddLers Tactile


I made these "sensory tactile yard shapes" to add to our new Sensory Tray. The children can pick them up and feel them and turn them over and see how I put them together. They look like stars and snowflakes. I used cardboard and left over yarn. Cutting slits all around the edges, just wind the yarn where ever you like to make a beautiful shape. No wrong or right way, just any way makes a pretty tactile shape with pretty results.

Add these to your sensory tray or box.

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